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Does intelligence mean success?

education Updated: Jan 20, 2010 09:48 IST
Chitra Jha

It’s a common perception that intelligence plays a great role in our success. If someone is successful, we presume that s/he is highly intelligent. Lack of intelligence, on the other hand, invites insults. What is this intelligence that is such a prized commodity?

Do you believe that success is hindered by an absence of intelligence? In your opinion which person has a better chance of succeeding: the one with above average intelligence but who is full of doubts and fears; or one with average intelligence who has a positive outlook? Does focus play any role in success or is intelligence supreme? Does one need to be a person of action or of intellect?

I believe that your intelligence does play a role but that role is limited. It is your thoughts and the patterns of those thoughts that determine your success. These thoughts help guide your intelligence in the right direction. They give your intelligence the required focus.
More and more people agree today that a positive mindset is the most essential element of success. Abilities, skills, and talent play second fiddle to a positive mindset.

Now if everyone knows that a positive mindset is all it takes to succeed, why can’t we cultivate this mindset? Intelligence is something that we are born with, but our mindset is something that we control. What stops us from exercising this control effectively? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves. Are we sabotaging our success by being stuck in a negative mindset?

When we have a positive mindset, the situations in our lives don’t change; it is our response to those situations that changes. We learn to look at disappointments and failures for what they truly are: a learning opportunity.

It is a known truth that whatever we focus on, grows in our lives. So, our focus on the positive brings in more positivism into our lives. Our disappointments become temporary.

We move through challenging situations with cheer and poise. We learn to trust people, seek help, become more open to offering help.
When we are filled with positive thoughts, our subconscious makes us seek out positive people. Doing our work with a positive mindset brings out excellence in us and excellence cannot be ignored for too long.

Edward De Bono, the author of the concept of lateral thinking, puts it very well. He says, “We can think about intellect as the horsepower in an engine. Increasing the horsepower does not necessarily ensure the peak performance of the engine. If your ability to drive is good, you can get the most out of the car. However, if it is bad, then more horsepower will not help. In fact, the results are far better if a good driver drives a car with less horsepower, than a bad driver driving a car with more horsepower…”

Yes, the role of intellect cannot be denied but the intellect must be driven by positive thoughts. Daniel Goldman, the author of Emotional Intelligence, says that emotional intelligence is far more important than a high intelligence quotient (IQ). People with a high emotional quotient (EQ) can motivate themselves. They enjoy good inter-personal relationships.

People with a high EQ trust their abilities, and enjoy a high level of self-confidence. It has been seen that people with average education but high EQ get better results at work than people with great qualifications but low EQ. You are born with an IQ, and you cannot do much about raising it, but EQ is something that can be developed throughout your life.

So, let go of the need to worship intellect, and expect success.

The author is a life skills coach, time-line therapist, and new consciousness writer.

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